DUBOIS – DuBois City Council has placed City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio on paid administrative leave.
The leave is effective Thursday, March 23, and will remain pending resolution of the judiciary process.
Suplizio was arrested March 20 for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from public accounts over a period of time.
Click here to read complete GANT News coverage on the allegations.
According to work session minutes, council held a closed executive session Thursday, March 23 to address Suplizio’s job status.
Mayor Ed Walsh maintained precedent of hearing no public comment at the work session.
Instead, he encouraged attendance of Monday’s voting meeting, which was standing room only with overflow into the city lobby.
Sandy Township Supervisors Sam Mollica and Kevin Salandra were both in attendance but did not speak.
After placing Suplizio on leave, council appointed City Engineer & Public Works Director Chris Nasuti as acting city manager.
Council also rescinded its previous vote to extend Suplizio’s contract, and will revisit it upon resolution of the judiciary process.
Council declined to comment on the matter itself, and Walsh indicated they would make note of any questions.
It also declined its standard open comment portion of the meeting for council members prior to adjournment.
Five people did address them during the public comment period including former City Manager Ron Trzyna.
He said council had a financial duty to the public, and questioned how the city was unaware of the allegations.
Tryzna said he, personally, was aware of the pending arrest of Suplizio, and questioned how council was not.
He also questioned if Suplizio was present or in the building for council’s executive session March 23.
Resident Linda London questioned the city’s ability to be vigilant with its funds.
She said many city officials have been part of city government as long as or possibly longer than the period of alleged thefts.
Anywhere else, London said, Suplizio would’ve been suspended with pay immediately, and not permitted access for the rest of the week.
Resident Elliot Gelfand had multiple questions concerning the city’s water supply.
He asked what contracts it has with fracking companies, and if the sale of the city’s water supply is ongoing.
Gelfand concluded by asking what is being done now to actively protect the city’s water supply.
The last person who spoke simply reminded that Suplizio was innocent until proven guilty, and that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.